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The Design and Implementation of a Framework for Configurable Software

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Stuart Wheater, Professor Mark Little



Software systems are typically composed of numerous components, each of which is responsible for a different function, e.g., one component may be responsible for remote communication, while another may provide a graphical user interface. Different implementations of a component may be possible, with each implementation tailored for a specific set of applications or environments. Being able to reconfigure software systems to make use of these different implementations with the minimum of effect on existing users and applications is desirable. Configurable software systems are also important for a number of other reasons: additional components or modifications to those currently available, may be required. For example, new versions of software components may be necessary due to the discovery of design flaws in a component; a RPC which provides unreliable message delivery may be suitable for an application in a local area network, but if the application is to be used in a wide area network, a different RPC implementation, which guarantees message delivery, may be necessary. Therefore, software is often required to be configurable, enabling modifications to occur with minimal effect on existing users. To allow this configurability, components should only be available through interfaces that are clearly separated from their implementations, allowing users to be isolated from any implementation changes. Objectoriented programming techniques offer a good basis upon which this separation can be provided. This paper describes a model for constructing configurable software based upon this separation, and illustrates this with a software development system we have implemented which supports these ideas in C++.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Wheater SM, Little MC

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: 3rd IEEE International Conference on Configurable Distributed Systems (ICCDS '96)

Year of Conference: 1996

Pages: 136-143

Date deposited: 09/03/2011

Publisher: IEEE Computer Society Press


DOI: 10.1109/CDS.1996.509355

Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 0818673958